The Senate on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; and Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, over the funding status of three Federal Government legacy road projects estimated to cost N2.7 trillion.
The invitations weresequel to the interactive session between the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, with the NSIA boss.
The legacy projects are the Abuja-Kano Expressway, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.
Speaking before the lawmakers, Orji explained that the Federal Government established the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund in February 2018 to accelerate the execution of certain critical, strategic infrastructure projects essential to the rapid growth and modernisation of the nation’s economy.
He said the PIDF is being managed by the NSIA to develop the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, Mambilla Hydro-Power Project and the East West Road.
According to him, the total cost of the projects is estimated to be N2.7 trillion.
Orji noted that the sources of funds for the projects included Federal Government’s initial seed funding of $650 million transferred to the PIDF in 2018, N90 billion transferred by the Ministry of Finance to the PIDF in 2019 and $311 million recovered funds transferred to the PIDF in 2020.
He said the NSIA is to provide $300 million, China Exim N1.423 billion, second seed funding of $650 million and other sources (local and international financial institutions), $770 million.
He said the NSIA has so far expended the sum of N231.8 billion on the three projects as follows: Lagos-Ibadan (N60.9 billion), 2nd Niger Bridge (N100.6 billion) and the Abuja-Kano Expressway (N70.1 billon).
He noted that currently, the PIDF is being utilised in the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge project and the Abuja-Kano Expressway.
He noted that the construction contracts were executed between the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Contractors before they were transferred to the PIDF, “therefore, all information and documentation relating to the projects prior the handover should be sought from the FMWH.”
He also said the legacy debts of the three projects are the responsibility the FMWH.
But the lawmakers were infuriated with the MD of the NSIA because though the projects are being managed by the NSIA, he refused to inherit their assets and liabilities.
As a result of the NSIA Managing Director’s statement, Adeola directed that Ahmed, Fashola and Idris be summoned to appear before the Committee alongside Orji in two weeks time to explain the status of funding for the projects and the issue of legacy debts.
Earlier, Orji noted that the PIDF balance as at June 2020 stood at N181.4 billion.
He said: “This balance incorporates the receipt of the recovered assets of $311 million.
“We estimate these funds to be depleted by the beginning of quarter three of 2021.
“Under the PIDF mandate, NSIA is to receive two transfers of $650 million.
“Thus far, NSIA received one of the transfers.
“Once the funding in Q3 2021 is expended.
“NSIA will either need the additional transfer or raise funding from other sources.”